Stonington resident Ted Danforth is a letterpress printer and publisher. The Eastern Question grew out of a series of lectures he gave to address questions that many asked in the wake of the attacks on 9/11 - and are still asking.
In the 19th century, the term the ‘Eastern Question’ referred to the problem posed by the inevitable dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, the fall of which in the 20th engendered the modern ‘muddle’ of the Middle East in the 21st.
In a larger sense the East has always been a Question for the West, for the simple reason that’s where the trouble comes from: the Huns, Goths, Arabs, Mongols, Turks, Russians, Soviets, to now another, less well-defined, ‘non-linear,’ and ‘asymmetric’ trouble.
As the West declines relatively and the East rises, seemingly new questions are asked that are in fact old ones. The current conflicts in the Middle East are present-day manifestations of geopolitical dynamics that have been active in the historical process from the beginning.